I was pleased to read that Sen. Susan Collins has recently co-sponsored a bipartisan bill that, if enacted, could eventually lead to the reduction of short-lived but potent climate pollutants. These include refrigerants, which leak from appliances like air conditioners and refrigerators, methane, which escapes from landfills and oil and gas exploration sites, and black carbon, the result of incomplete combustion in diesel engines and cookstoves in the developing world

Action like this is urgently needed.

The main driver of climate disruption remains carbon dioxide, and another bipartisan bill already introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 763), looks like the best first major step toward reducing CO2 emissions. It’s effective, good for people, good for the economy and revenue neutral.
Kudos to Rep. Pingree for co-sponsoring this strong bill, which studies indicate will reduce carbon pollution by 40 percent in just 12 years while returning the fees collected from the fossil fuel industry to American households on a per capita basis.

Several other CO2 reduction bills have recently been introduced in Congress. This is a good sign that politicians are beginning to realize that climate change can no longer be a political football, but instead must be a bridge issue that unites Americans in support of science-based action to reduce a global threat.

HR 763 remains the strongest measure in play, and I encourage Sens. Collins and Angus King to support a bipartisan companion bill when it is introduced in the Senate. A substantial majority of Mainers get the urgency of climate action and expect effective mitigation efforts from all the members of our Congressional delegation.

Sam Saltonstall


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